We have had almost incessant rain for over a week here in Fort Lauderdale. Walking when streets are flooded gets to be impossible but finally, yesterday, the sun came out, we got no rain and I was able to eke out enough time to walk. In the wash of evening light, with so much scrubbed clean by the rain, the world was new again and I had to stop and stare twice. The first time, this is what I saw:
The second time, it was a night blooming cereus that took my breath away.
Sherod has had a night blooming cereus plant for years, the gift from a dear friend in Memphis who had tended her plant from adolesence, when her grandmother in Alabama gave her a cutting of her plant. If you are not familiar with this plant, the blossoms open at night and only last for a few hours. They are fragrant and exotic and crazy beautiful in an absolutely fleeting moment. Don’t blink or you might miss it. On my rambles, I go by a house that has a jungle of a front yard with several cereus plants. Yesterday, it was light enough and I was mindful enough to notice.
This Sunday, the Gospel passage is about Mary and Martha. We are so tempted to make that split: action vs contemplation, busy-ness vs attentiveness. More than ever, it is precisely in the action and the vigorous business of walking, that I find the moments of an ‘eternal now’.